It’s usually inevitable your kids are going to grow up and one day move out of home. And, while research shows that women are generally more upset at the prospect of this than men are, the good news is many people report that once they come to terms with it, there are a number of upsides.
These were the findings from The Empty Nesters report (the 14th instalment of The Australian Seniors Series), which revealed the best thing about kids leaving the nest, according to those who’d said goodbye, was parents had the place to themselves and (hooray) there was less cleaning up to do.
Of those surveyed, nearly 75% said they were also loving the extra time they had, while almost 70% said their financial position had changed for the better.
If you’re still getting your head around the situation (maybe you’re one of the four in 10 feeling a bit sad or would’ve loved if your kids stayed at home for longer), we explore the upsides more closely.
The financial benefits
According to the research, 70% of those whose kids had left home said they had more disposable income, with 68% saying they were in a better financial position and 56% saying they felt less guilty when it came to splashing out and spending a bit of money on themselves.
Almost a third also said they had turned their children’s rooms into a space for short-term accommodation (earning an average of $1,632 in the last 12 months), or a place where they could indulge in their own hobbies or interests, which was also helping a number of seniors to make extra cash on the side (specifically $2,584 on average in the last 12 months). This extra money generally came from offering services on a freelance basis or selling collectibles and creations.
The lifestyle benefits
In terms of the lifestyle benefits, about 41% of seniors whose children had left home were finding more time to exercise, with walking, going to the gym and golfing topping the list of people’s favourites, followed by swimming and yoga.
Seniors’ social lives were also peaking, with nearly half of those surveyed saying they were spending more time hanging with mates, eating out and going to the movies.
On top of that, over 90% of empty nesters were travelling more often and for longer periods of time in comparison to when their kids were living at home.